Former president, José Ramos-Horta (Image/Tatoli)

DILI, 25 september 2021 (TATOLI) – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the former President of Timor-Leste, José Ramos Horta informed that defining the national priorities of each nation by its leader is important to ending hunger.

“There is no need to depend on the support of others, like international communities. You know that the failure of national leaders leaving many in hunger,” said Horta during delivering his speech virtually on the Fix The Food Conference, co-hosted by Noble Peace Center and WFP, on September  24, in Oslo, Norway.

He said the war in Yemen and Syria are some of the examples of the national leader’s failures to restoring peace and ensure food security to the communities.

“Therefore, it is important for every country to define its national priorities to end hunger.

He said in Timor-Leste: “We get priorities wrong because we do have 18 billion dollars in our sovereign fund and we have never had problems of budget, and yet we do have food insecurity, we have extreme poverty, and we have child malnutrition. This is not because of war or because of natural disasters. It is just because the political leaders got priorities wrong.”

Horta said even without any financial support, or donor support, Timor-Leste has more than enough to have sustainable agriculture, food security, clean water and sanitation, and better medical care.

“Our greatest failure has been in the agricultural sector, in assuring food security, and in providing clean water for every village,” said Horta.

He said each government of the countries across the world must define its priorities and have a good agricultural policy: “It’s not about putting a huge budget on the agricultural sector, but how to ensure the right people are in the right place.”

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario

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